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Olds figure skater wins silver in Grande Prairie

Calista Walton, 14, plans to enter a competition in Lethbridge next month
Calista Walton, 14, has been figure skating since she was eight years old. She plans to continue in the sport until she achieves gold in every aspect of it.

OLDS — Calista Walton, 14, of the Olds Figure Skating Club (OFSC) won the silver medal in free skate in the Star 5 Women’s Artistic Group C event in Grande Prairie late last month.

The Grand Prairie competition was one of five qualifying events for the Skate AB l NT l NU StarSkate & Adult Championships, to be held in Edmonton on March 15-17.

Calista’s medal, plus a fourth-place finish in the Star 4 Girls Freeskate 13 & over event, has spurred her to enter another competition in Lethbridge next month with a goal to improving her chances of qualifying for the championships.

An OFSC Facebook message noted that the Grande Prairie event marked the first time in four years that Calista had entered figure skating competitions.

“With two more qualifying events to go, time will tell if Calista's performance positioned her as a contender for these upcoming championships,” the Facebook post said.

Kari McQuaid, the club’s treasurer, is impressed with Walton’s accomplishments in Grande Prairie.

“My daughter has been in the club for eight years and to my knowledge no one has won a medal equivalent to this since we have been a part of OFSC,” she wrote in an email.

Calista’s mom, Katina, is a coach for the OFSC.

Katina said it’s tough for OFSC skaters to enter competitions because they can’t really access the ice until late September, early October, whereas other clubs can get on their ice sooner.

During an interview with the Albertan, Calista said she’s been figure skating since she was about eight years old.

She was asked why she likes it.

“I love performing. I just find it very exciting. I like interpretive dancing to music,” she said. “I like performing more than the technical side, but I also really love to jump.”

Calista figures right now, she’s best at the interpretive dancing part of the sport, but she’s really working on her jumping.

She’s managed to land an axel, and is working on other jumps.

“I feel like it’s hard to land the axel consistently still and I haven’t landed the double yet, but am probably going to, because it’s the same thing as the axel,” Calista said.

“I think spinning’s harder sometimes, because the higher you get up, the more rotations you have to hold things for and that’s probably the hardest part for me. But the rest of it I’m OK at.”

Calista also plays baseball and volleyball.

“I feel like figure skating training helps with the other sports,” she said. “I know that baseball helps with volleyball, but I don’t think the two help with figure skating much.”

Calista was asked which sport she likes the most.

“I’m pretty new to volleyball this year so I can’t say it’s my favourite yet, but I’m enjoying it so far,” she said. “I like baseball and figure skating equally.”

Calista plans to continue working on her figure skating for a long time to come.

“I want to go until I reach the gold star. I want to get gold in everything, so I want to take it all the way,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll compete anywhere big, but I want to complete all the skills. I want to land everything.”


Doug Collie

About the Author: Doug Collie

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